Anger over supermarket refusal

RESIDENTS are furious today after it emerged a proposal for a multi-million pound new supermarket which would help regenerate their community is set to be refused.

RESIDENTS are furious today after it emerged a proposal for a multi-million pound new supermarket which would help regenerate their community is set to be refused.

People living in Felixstowe's West End area were thrilled when Lidl announced plans to demolish the resort's biggest eyesore - its old disused bus station - along with the former newsagents and fish and chip shop alongside, and the council depot behind.

The two-acre site off the Ordnance roundabout at the junction of Langer Road and Garrison Lane would then be used for a 1,400 sq metre store plus 100-space car park.

But Suffolk Coastal planners are urging councillors to reject the scheme - saying it is piecemeal, against policy, and would fail to improve the quality and character of the area as it would be dominated by a large car park.

The area is also low-lying and there is concern over potential flooding in a sea surge.

Former councillor Pat Loveday, of Arwela Road, Felixstowe, said residents would be organising a protest petition.

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“We cannot believe the council is saying this should be refused - people in this area were thrilled to bits when Lidl bought the site,” she said.

Sandie Doran, of Undercliff Road West, said: “We desperately need something here and that site is crying out for regeneration.”

Town councillors support the project and want it approved.

However, a report to the district council's south area development control sub committee, which meets on August 21 to discuss the issue, said development of the area should not be piecemeal.

The site should also include the shipping office next door and council car park with a scheme involving quality housing and affordable homes and several small shops, too.

Felixstowe does not have a desperate need for a new supermarket although a discount store like Lidl might be welcome.

Lidl expects the store to provide 25 to 30 new jobs with an annual turnover of £2.6 million.

It has already agreed to reduce car parking and increase landscaping to improve its setting.

What do you think of the proposal for a Lidl supermarket on the site? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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